a bench with a view

a bench with a view

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Self check out

Do you self check out at the store?

It almost seems these days they are promoting that (and online shopping) over cashiers and having adequate things in stock.

I was at Target the other day getting a few items, including a bottle of wine for dinner. There is a clear sign at the self check out "No alcohol can be purchased through self check out."  Interestingly, there were no lights on of any other cash registers working, but there was a Target employee at the self check out lanes designating where customers should go to check out and I heard her say to someone "don't worry, I'll help you if you need help." I remarked to her I had wine and she said "I'll help you on aisle 5" (right next door to self check). It was not lit up.

She processed my items and as I was gathering them up, another man came in behind me and placed his items on the conveyor belt and she took care of him.

It dawned on me as I was leaving the store.

They are training us to use self check outs. Think about it. One store we go to has 8 self check out "lanes" and one person monitoring it.  Probably 95% (if not higher) of the check outs run smoothly. One person monitoring 8 lanes of people checking out, reducing the amount of lanes ran by a "live" cashier.

I have to admit. Self check out is easy for a few items. I won't go past 5-6 items with its use. Some stores will allow alcohol to be purchased through them, some won't. (Those that do, they have it built into the system you have to show your ID to the person monitoring the lanes or they see you are "older than dirt" and just click their button, clearing you to continue to check out).

Sometimes I'll use the regular check out lanes even if they are busy because that at least keeps someone employed, if only for that date.

I fear the check out lines of the past are fading away, like so many other things, and being replaced by self check out services.

Another way to reduce jobs and cut expenses. 

Yet it is so prevalent, so what does one do?

To self check out or not to self check out, that is the question.  How do you answer it?

Do you prefer a "live" cashier taking care of your business?

I still miss the full service gas stations.  Anyone remember those?

49 comments:

weekend-windup said...

To maintain the finance in family is a very tough, so i don't get interfere in it...

jack69 said...

Oh yes, I remember the full service stations, I worked at one and had a ball. But self check out? I am not too keen on it. I have used it about 4 times twice I personally had a problem understanding what I needed to do. I have wondered about veggies sold by the pound, can that be processed?

AND besides that I do like a cashier, but as you mentioned we are being trained. I stopped to deposit a check at the ATM and mentioned to SHerry, the kids today will never know their banker, and will never know what it was like to write a check for a purchase, etc.

I don't know if coupons work at check out. I am not a fan of coupons either. Sell the product at a good rice, forget the coupon trickery.

(but coupons are another subject)

Good entry, makes one think.

EcoCatLady said...

Well, as a total introvert, I LOVE self checkout and self serve gas with pay at the pump. Perhaps this is bad, but going to the store is just sooo much less stressful when I don't have to interact with a cashier.

Plus, at self checkout, I can make sure everything is bagged the way I want it. It's not that I think the paid baggers do it "wrong" - they just don't know how my pantry is set up at home. If I bag it myself I can put all of the things that go on the same shelf in the same bag and it makes my life easier when I unload it all. Plus, I can't count the number of times some teenager has just tossed my apples or peaches into a sack and they come out all bruised.

Does this mean I'm crazy or OCD or something? I do sorta feel bad that it means less jobs for people, but honestly, I really prefer doing it myself.

Cathy said...

Self checkouts are all over the place - even in the library! And thats the only place I will use it.
As far as I'm concerned using them in the supermarket means the 'bosses' are paying one less cashier so I make a point of waiting in line as long as I have to. I place my goods on the belt in the order i want them bagged - cold with cold, veggies together etc etc
And yes it's a sad thing to say but service stations aren't manned these days. Pump your own is the way they work - unfortunately
Nice to meet you. - I came via Joeh's
Cathy



Cathy @ Still Waters

baili said...

for me it is very interesting and informative because this thing has not arrived in here yet but i am sure sooner it will be .
new facilities are meant to be easier but it is not a good new for who lose their jobs when machines replaces them

Bijoux said...

I hate the self checkout. It takes everyone longer because few know what they are doing. Another way for consumers to get less service. It just makes me angry.

Maria Zannini said...

Not only do I remember full service gas stations but I remember that they used to give us free gifts with every fill up. I still remember the set of John F. Kennedy glasses and the big boxes of laundry soap. :)

Self checkouts are popular where I live. I use them all the time. There's usually one employee overseeing all the self checkout lanes in case someone needs help or needs approval for alcohol or coupons.

I use them only when I have a few items, but for big orders I prefer the people lanes.

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

I use the self check out when all the other lines are full so I don't have to wait so long to check out, but I always wind up needing help. The days of trying to please the customer is fast fading. But I'm about to change where I shop, there must be some place that will appreciate serving a customer.

joeh said...

I hate self-checkout! I never use them, though Mrs. C will. I always need help with the credit card "Swipe or stick?" Stop changing stuff, I just learned how to use the damn card now the do that chip thingy.

We are not allowed to pump our own gas in New Jersey and that Is why I'll never leave...they don't clean your windshield anymore and no need to check the oil. Most of the attendants are not from this country and have not learned the custom of "Thank You" or "You're Welcome" and when they ask "catch o chach" you have to learn it means "cash or charge" if you ask "what?" they just repeat and get angry...still I hate pumping my own gas.

Joanne Noragon said...

My granddaughter fills the cart and I meet her at the registers. She and her sister were whizzes at self checkout; me, no. I cannot load the bags fast enough to clear the area and all hell breaks loose. After that trip through, I made her meet me at the real register, and explained we had to keep that cashier employed, to make our lives easier. Beside, I am the person with the card, and she would be a mighty strange 14 year old stranded at the self check out.

Mac n' Janet said...

I seldomly use self-checkout as I'm usually buying too many things and like you I only like using them if I have only a few items. Plus I've never used one where I didn't end up needing help. Don't know if the problem is me or it.
I remember full service gas stations too, but I prefer self-serve, it's quicker.

Pat Hatt said...

The self check outs are good only as long as they are working and no slow pokes who don't have any idea how to use them are using them lol. But yeah, they do take jobs away. When you have lots of items they aren't very good to use.

Joanne said...

I hate self checkout. Amy time I use it a worker bee has to come over and take care of something to do with the items or machine,etc. Defeats the purpose. Thus I'd rather deal with a person from the beginning.

Alicia said...

Recently I purchased a new car that has a little icon that comes on every time the tire pressure isn't absolutely perfect, which means that I have to find someone to check my tires because it terrifies me to put air in myself. I feel I'm going to overfill and they will blow up in my face! It prompted me to think about those days when I first started driving and I'd pull up to the gas pump and a friendly attendant would come running out and he'd clean my windshield and check my oil and my tires, I really miss the good ol' days!

I don't do self check out! I already feel like the stores have made me do too much work in making me bag my own groceries, the least they can do is make an effort to have a live human taking my money! Great post!

Plowing Through Life (Martha) said...

I remember the full service gas stations very well and I had my favourite locations because of some great employees. I do miss that. We are definitely being trained for self check-out. We're already on that path. Gas stations are done. And even banking is pretty much over the hump. And online shopping is now very big!

Paula Kaye said...

Good thoughts here. I only use self check if the kids are with me and we don't have very much. I mess it up every time. Wine at Target!!! I live in backwards Kansas where we have to shop at a liquor store for any alcohol purchase. Keeps me from drinking too much cause I usually won't make the extra stop!

Intense Guy said...

I always use self checkout and self pump my gas. In New Jersey they have to pump gas for you and it always takes twice as long to refill the tank (the people they hire always very slow!)

You can't buy alcohol in the supermarket in PA - so self checkout is no issue.

Big Mark 243 said...

...I go to cashiers whenever I have a full basket... but when I am purchasing a handful of items, I will go self-checkout... I like to think like you, that I am helping someone stay employed for at least that day for certain..!

Melanie said...

I noticed new self check outs at our Target a few weeks ago. I will go through self check out if I have 1-2 things and the lines are long to be done quicker. If I have a big basket of stuff, I go to a cashier.

Danielle L Zecher said...

I'll use the self checkout if I'm just getting a few things, but most of the time it seems like I have a lot of stuff. It also seems to take forever to use the self checkout if you have a lot of produce. The cashiers seem to have codes memorized. I don't, and it seems really unfair to anyone behind me who just wants to buy one thing and go.

I remember occasionally going to a full service gas station with my mom when I was a kid. I think they were all gone long before I started driving.

Our library has self checkout now. I refuse to use that. I've gotten way too many great book recommendations from people at the library to give that up.

Ann Bennett said...

I have thought of the job angle too. This is off topic; but, I do have an ax to grind with companies making large profits and paying large salaries to those at the top and little to those on the bottom. At the average grocery store, the manager's salary is indexed to sales and can make a good six figure income. Moving up the food chain, generous salaries are there. The cashier gets minimum wage and no guarantee of full time hours. If business is slow, they ask cashiers to go home. Even though the company is making enough money to pay their cashiers more and deliver consistency with income, they save money. This applies to folks who work fast food. I get irked when people say hamburger flippers don't deserve $15 an hour. Do they ever say the owner of a McDonald franchise does not deserve a Mercedes, nice home and money in the bank. It's about fairness and equity.

Saleslady371 said...

I never use the self check. And I remember those old fashioned gas stations with all the special service. How about banking? I was in Chase cashing a check and approached urging me to use machines! I told her I need a roll of quarters and she laughed and told me to stay in line. We both got into a great time of sharing about the laundromat and washing our comforters for the fall/winter season!

Adam said...

To be honest, self-checkout doesn't really cut much jobs. Walmarts that don't have them have the same amount of cashiers they had with them. Mine got rid of them and the lines are horrid now.

Most companies have a payroll budget and it adjusts how many hours they can deal out versus how much sales they've made. When sales are down, cashiers just seem to dwindle down. And I can run a cash register at work (if they are busy) but I hate it. I usually become "pre-occupied" so I don't have to jump on one. But a few years ago I did a whole 8 hour shift when they were desperate and that's the most boring and stressful job ever.


I like target's self-checkout. Works really well. We just got ours if others had them before.

Jerralea said...

Betty, you've brought up a pet peeve of mine. I very rarely use a self-check out because I fear that is cutting out someone's job.

My daughters are introverts and want to use the self check out so they don't have to interact with anyone. SMH

Lowcarb team member said...

I do miss the full service gas stations too ...
When shopping I always try to go to a check out with a human being sitting their to help me - and I always say hello and how are you - it's nice to smile and inter-act with people.
Having said that there are those who don't want this.

I do feel sorry for people whose jobs are under constant threat from so called progress and the use of more machines ...

Call me old fashioned !

All the best Jan

Jo said...

At our grocery store the self checkouts are very much in use but at the same time, there are long lines at the live checkouts too. If I have a lot of shopping I much prefer to go through a live checkout. We still have a full serve gas bar close to us although we personally don't use it. Well I probably would, but it's usually Matt who gets gas. Of course we can't buy wine and beer in a grocery store here although I understand there are some stores allowed to sell beer these days. Not round here, as far as I know.

Megan Whitson Lee said...

Like you, I use them if I only have a few items. If I'm buying wine or a lot of stuff, I don't want to get held up at the self check out line while waiting for someone to come over and help me.

Liz A. said...

I hate self checkout, but for a completely different reason. I worked in retail for years, and I worked as a cashier. I hated it. The scanning, the bagging. It was incredibly tedious. So, when I'm not getting paid to scan and bag, I'd rather have someone else do it for me.

I do not remember full service gasoline stations. I encountered one when I went to Oregon years ago. But they haven't had any around here as far as I know during my lifetime.

Chatty Crone said...

Haha I hate self checkout - I am always needing help!

Libraries and books are going away too! Oh vey - progress.

Debby said...

I use the self-checkouts all the time except if I am doing my big grocery shopping. I prefer it, because I love new technology, and I am an introvert (in real life) I don't like chatting in the line...

In Oregon, it is state law - no self service gas stations. We always enjoy getting gas in Oregon! We get the full service - windows washed, tires checked...just like the old days.

Birgit said...

I remember the full service and it was wonderful. I don't like the self check out lines and will not use them. I had a person, working at the store, try to have me use them and I just looked at her and said," I didn't know you like to get rid of your job." She just stared at me. I think it is a shame that so many jobs are going and so is the quality.

Mevely317 said...

You've hit a nerve here, Betty!
I really (really!) dislike the self check-out business; and certainly agree with Ma's observation.
(Well, I'd like to sound all altruistic ... but I'm more like Jack, afraid of messing up!)

Gas stations? Furgetabout it!!! Not that many years ago I used to fantasize about winning the lottery and opening a retro gas station. Remember that jingle, "You can trust your car to the man who wears a star...." I've not a lot of disposable income, but I would deliberately pay more at the pump to patronize such a place.

Victoria Zigler said...

Self check-outs are great if you only have a few items, but not so much if you've got a lot of stuff to scan.

My main complaint with all this technology that's meant to improve things for us is that it would be a lot easier if someone would actually show people how to use these things, rather than expecting people to just know, or leaving them to hold everyone else up while they figure it out.

I mean, I do worry about the job thing too. But there were never more than a couple of cashiers at their stations at any given time before the self check-out options, and that hasn't changed, so I'm not too worried about that when it comes to supermarkets. I mean, they still have to have some staff on to help out when needed anyway, so... *Shrugs*

DMS said...

I use the self check out when I only have a few items or if the items I have are "easy" to check out. I do think they are training us to check out our own stuff- but I do prefer there to be more live cashiers during busy times of day and when they know more people are doing "big" shopping. I have been finding lately that often only 2-3 lanes are open and the lines are so long. Someone in line mentioned the other day that the prices should really do down a little because the stores aren't paying cashiers and baggers to do the work, we are doing it. I thought that was something to think about...
~Jess

Sheena-kay Graham said...

Those poor cashiers! I'm glad in the Jamaican stores I have been to that we don't have self check out. At most you might pack a few things yourself after cashing to help the cashier along because there are too few bag boys around. I like the camaraderie and would take a real cashier any day.

Susan Kane said...

I'm a people person. I carry on a conversation with check-out people all the time. It makes me happy, and I hope it does the same for them.

Kat said...

I would love to use a self checkout lane (I was a cashier for quite a while) if they ever worked! It is maddening! Every. Single. Time. I use the self checkouts it makes me get an attendant for an override. It usually says there is something in the bag that isn't. Something ridiculous. And there is NEVER an attendant around so I wait and wait and wait. It makes me crazy.

Optimistic Existentialist said...

Personally, I prefer a live cashier because I like to make conversation with them :)

Secret Agent Woman said...

The thing I like about self-checkouts at the grocery store is that I can group the items by where they go - garage freezer, fridge, cabinets and so on.

And yes, I remember full-service gas stations.

Debby@Just Breathe said...

I've been so busy since Wednesday that I'm just getting around to reading blogs today. Heading to Florida in the morning.

They are promoting it with less checkers. I've decided to embrace it because I was getting to angry about it. I only do it at Target and I've gotten pretty fast now! That is interesting about the wine. Truthfully it seems like some of the real people I have had lately worked really slow. I do get pleasure out of bagging my own things because they never do it like I would like it done.

Yes I miss the full service gas stations. I was so angry when I had to start pumping my own gas....LOL!

Take care,
Debby

yaya said...

I do remember full service gas stations. I was surprised to find out, when we visited our son in Portland, Oregon, that it's illegal to pump your own gas there. As for self check out lanes...well, I do go there once in awhile and almost always at Sam's Club.

Denise said...

Our local Costco got rid of self-check out. When they had it I told management that they should give IQ tests before letting folks in line. I finally went back to using a cashier, which was much faster. No surprise when I got there one day and found the lanes gone. Pumping gas is even worse. How can you wait in line for five minutes or so and then get to the pump to discover you do not have your card, or fumble around looking for it after you get out of the car.

Nick Wilford said...

I'm definitely a sucker for the self-service checkout if I've only got a few items, even if the ones at my local shop keep having "a problem with that item" and an assistant has to reset it. Not really self-service then. But I'm not really into having a big chat with someone at the checkout. I'm with you though on wondering how much staff levels are downsized because of it.

Wendy said...

Where I live self checkout is designed for just a few purchases. In fact, there isn't room to do all your grocery shopping because you can't remove the bags until you're done. I like the convenience but it seems there is always an issue that requires the pro to come override something. It is sad to regard self checking as employee-reduction but I guess that is what it is. Yes, we now pump our own gas. AND we operate elevators all by ourselves. Do you remember elevator operators? But really, didn't that have to be the most boring job?

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

Our last full service gas station in town closed about three years ago. I use the self check if I only have a few items. Yeah, they're going to put people out of work. A lot of jobs like that are going to go away. One more way not to interact with people.

Elizabeth said...

I agree with what EcoCatLady said. I'm an introvert and slightly picky about how my groceries are bagged. Even if you arrange them a certain way on the belt, the cashiers don't always take the hint. I will also add that my pharmacy is in a big box store, and after dealing with people all day long I just want to get out of there as quickly as possible, and self-checkout is usually the shortest wait. But, if I see an open cashier, I usually try to go to them.

SweetMarie said...

I don't like self check-out. hubby will use it once in awhile, but I won't.

Lux G. said...

Yeah, someone assisting you and checking out your items is still better.

Ruth said...

I do not like self checkouts. My husband uses them sometimes and that is the only time I will go near them. He either can't remember I hate them or he doesn't care.
I am not going to do a store's job for them so they can save money.